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Different Types of O Visas

O-1 Visa

The O-1 Visa is a Non-Immigrant Employment Based Visa to work in America. In order to qualify you must demonstrate you have a "extraordinary ability" in the field of Art, Athletics, Business, Education, or Science. Although it's called an "O-1 Visa", it is actually made up of two categories, "O-1A" and "O-1B". The benefits of the visa are the sane for both categories, but the criteria to qualify for them are different. O-1B Visas are for people that work in the Field of Art, and can sometimes use an Agent as a sponsor. O-1A Visas are for those that work in Athletics, Business, Education or Science. People in Athletics can use an agent as well.

If you are granted an O-1 Visa you can bring support staff and your dependants with you. The O-1 Visa allows you to live and work in the US, so long as you work for your 'sponsor' or 'employer'. If your sponsor is an agent, you can freelance or work for multiple employers, but they must contract with you through your agent. Your job should have typical use of a "talent agent". In order to qualify for an O-1 Visa you need to show that you both have a job offer and that you have ahcievements in your field of work that demonstrate thay you have an "extraordinary ability." Although it is sometimes called the "artist visa", the O-1 Visa is used by many different processions. A few of the varied professions that use O-1 Visas are Doctors, Professors, Executives, Actors, and Baseball Players.

The processing time for an O-1 Visa is approximately 3 months.

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O-2 Visa

An O-2 Visa is a US work visa granted to the support staff of a O-1 Visa holder. The two applications must be linked, and applied for at the same time. An O-2 alien has all the benefits of an O-1 visa holder, in that they are able to work, live, and travel in the US. However, they are completely dependent on the O-1 Visa holder, and if the O-1 Visa they applied with becomes invalid, so does the dependent O-2 Visa. O-2’s are hard in that you have to apply to USCIS and prove talent and a history with the O-1 Visa holder. However, the level of talent required is lower than that of an O-1 Visa applicant. A good example of an O-2 Visa holder would be a makeup artist who was accompanying an Actor to a film shoot.

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O-3 Visa

An O-3 Visa is a US Visa granted to families of O-1 or O-2 Visa holders, allowing them to accompany their relative to the US. It is not a work visa. Although you can study in the US while on an O-3 Visa, you cannot work there. Also, the Visa is only good for spouses and minor children. Any other relative will not qualify for an O-3 Visa. O-3’s are different than O-1’s and O-2’s because you don’t have to apply to USCIS for approval. Instead, you apply at a consulate/embassy once your relative’s O-1/O-2 visa has been approved by USCIS. These Visa’s are pretty much rubber stamped, which means unless something very out of the ordinary happens, you will be easily approved for one.

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